Essay:The Stupidity of the New Zealand Left
New Zealand is already a pretty liberal country so, as you can imagine, our lefties are very committed lefties...to the point where they border on Conservapedia levels of emotional politics, ignorance and, sometimes, out-right lies. My personal political bent is closer to the center and I voted center-right in our most recent elections - not because that's where my political biases lay but because I divorce emotion and ideology from my politics and vote for who I think is best able to do the job at the time. I frequently engage the far left in debate and am often surprised by the level of inane and out-right idiocy of the positions they put forward which completely fly in the face of established facts. For example...
Sometime ago a New Zealand farmer, Alan Crafar, went bankrupt and his 16 Crafar farms went into receivership. Several offers were put forward by a multitude of different groups but eventually the top offer came from a Chinese milk consortium. The offer had to go through the Overseas Investment Office (OIO) which is a branch of government, though is non-partisan, which oversees and inspects large overseas investment in NZ. The OIO took a look at the deal and said to the Government, yep this is all above board, the character of the buyers is fine and there could be economic benefit to NZ if the sale goes through so you can approve the sale.
The government approved the sale and the NZ Left went completely ape-shit.
Tenant’s in our own land!
Selling out NZ to the highest bidder!
Selling our childrens future
All the money will be funnelled off-shore!
Shame on you Prime Minister!
And on and on it went. Now, here is where it really gets my back up. The lefties want the farms to stay in New Zealand hands. The next nearest bid was from a New Zealand consortium owned by New Zealander Sir Michael Fay. Now, the New Zealand Left hate Prime Minister John Key because he is a former merchant banker, a “1%er”, Wall Street crony who used to work for Merrill Lynch but got out before the crash. They hate him for that reason, because he is the face of the right leaning National Party and because he wants to sell off some 49% shares in a small amount (less than 2%) of the New Zealand portfolio of State Owned Assets (SOE’s).
So naturally the lefties want the farms to be owned by Sir Michael Fay. Sir Michael Fay…who presided as a “consultant” during the biggest stock market crash in New Zealands history, who sold off huge chunks of New Zealand assets in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s which enriched himself and his cronies, Sir Michael Fay, twice investigated for insider trading, fined $20M for his dodgy dealings and currently lives in Switzerland while his NZ companies siphon all their money overseas. It is even suggested his knighthood be stripped. More 1%er than John Key, twice as wealthy and provably more crooked than the Prime Minister Key could ever be. Fay’s bid on the farm is $30M lower than the Chinese bid and most thinking people recognise that Fay would buy it, sell it to the Chinese at a lower price than the receivers have asked and keep the profits over shore for his enrichment. Yet for some reason the inane left think Fay is the better option because they are so anti-Key that no matter what he says the left will immediately do the opposite. So while they are rallying about Key being a banker, a thief, a crook and a 1%er they are playing directly into the hands of the biggest New Zealand crook of them all. It is completely astounding to me and when I point it out they say “Oh well I trust Fay more” and “he has probably learnt his lesson”, “John Key is just selling out New Zealand”. Never mind that as recent as 2004 Fay has been investigated and John Key is completely clean.
So the left think John Key is trying to appease China, is selling us out and cutting out New Zealand buyers but the matter gets even stupider and the left even more ignorant.
You see, the former owner of the farm, Alan Crafar, owed more than $200M when he went into receivership. The receivers are an Australian Group called KordaMentha. KordaMentha, as the receivers, have taken ownership of the debt and therefore the farms.
Yes, that’s right, the farms are not even in New Zealander ownership as it stands.
So the left are blaming the government for selling out New Zealand land which isn’t currently owned by New Zealand. If that wasn’t stupid enough, the left also doesn’t seem to realise that the farms are owned solely by Kordamentha and it is Kordamentha that decides who buys the farms – not the government. The government has no say in the direction of the farms and it was the receivers that rejected all the New Zealand bids in favour of the highest bidder, the Chinese consortium. This is a private sale of private land and the government has no place in interfering in it much like they have no place in telling you who you can and can’t sell your house to. The only part the Government plays is in approving the sale based on recommendation by the OIO. The OIO runs character references, balances checks, financial history checks – everything on the company before a deal of this magnitude is presented to the government and if everything checks out what possible reason is there the government to say no? Because it isn’t a New Zealander? Interference like would open the government up to a massive legal can of worms not to mention a bitter race debate because nary a peep was made by anyone when a large German based consortium bought a big whack of land not three/four years ago under the left wing government and since then the right has made it more difficult for overseas investors to buy land without sufficient credentials.
But suddenly now, as soon as the right is in charge and the buyers Chinese, the left freaks out and pins the whole thing on the government without any factual basis whatsoever. If the government did not approve the OIO recommendation what happens next? KordaMentha wouldn’t sell it at lower price to a New Zealander, they find another overseas buyer – maybe Americans this time. So then the Government is put in the position of having to decline that sale too or else face charges of favouritism and/or racism.
What this has really come down to is a complete knee-jerk reaction from the left based on emotional politics and unthinking allegiance to their political ideology which has completely blinded them to the realities of the situation. It is extremely frustrating to watch this unfold on television every single night – much like watching the Republican primaries I guess where the truth is a sideshow to scoring points off the other guy. And in a place like New Zealand, which has had its fair share of dirty politicking but nothing on the level of the US, I find it most disheartening.
I wrote the above then went out for lunch. I came back and read the news to hear that the leader of the Opposition party, David Shearer, no longer gets his weekly spot on TVNZ’s Breakfast news show. Prime Minister Key keeps his as he is a newsmaker in his own right but TVNZ has never offered an opposition leader a weekly spot unless it is pre and post election season.
Sounds fair enough. That is their standard practice.
But now the left are again screaming about political bias, interference and how TVNZ is now the official mouthpiece of the National Party. Now admittedly before the election the incumbent Prime Minister was invited to host a one hour radio show on a network his government had bailed out without providing the Opposition party the similar privilege which is rather sketchy in its own right but nonetheless TVNZ has confirmed that when the National Party were in opposition the same rules applied and it was they who had their weekly spot axed. But the left are ignoring this point and instead prefer to point and scream BIAS! When in fact no such thing exists but on the message boards they ain’t listening. Ridiculous.